As we all know that misguiding or misleading test results have become common diagnostic blunders these days. To get the most of lab tests, you should know actually what test results have to say about your body. One of the major troubles are when you don’t know how to determine which results are normal and which are not. Another problem is when you don’t know how to use the test properly and what are its limitations. You have to stay ahead with advances in testing and evidence base. Failing to do so means you to end up with poor, outdated and inaccurate test results.
For getting complete insight to the blood test report, we must understand the complex terms and their meanings. But first we need to understand exactly how blood work is done and how it works.
Fig- What Your Blood Test Has to Say about You
Blood work or blood test shows what is happening in our blood, and in our body. Blood also shows changes in our bodies that we cannot see from outside, for example, nutrition status or blood sugar levels. Hence, blood test helps determine your overall health. It gives more detailed and accurate insight to wellness than just thinking that you are feeling fat today or you had some veggies last night.
How is Blood Test performed?
First of all, blood samples are collected from –
- Your fingertip (capillary skin puncture)
- Blood from your artery
- Dried blood samples
- Blood from your vein
- Bone marrow
What happens after collecting blood samples?
Fig 2- What happens after collecting blood samples?
Blood is placed in a centrifuge and spun until it gets separated and is tested in a lab. Then, test results are compared to reference range, which determines expected values of each test which is listed. In lab test, expected ranges consist of 95% of healthy population. Around 95% of healthy people would have values recorded in those ranges. According to the lab, type of blood, and region (EU or US), range varies. The readings below or above this range of reference can give important insight to diagnose your body. Especially, low and high values are of great help in context with lifestyle, symptoms, and tests.
Changes in Ranges and Results
Lab test values vary from person to person and it should be assessed based on different factors. Reference ranges of blood tests are established once you test a lot of healthy people. But blood analysis is subject to change on different people on the basis of –
- Time of year
- Drink/food consumption
- Stress level
- Supplement/medication use
- General tests
- Physical activity
Lab Test Organization
First of all, let’s wait for a while and determine why you need to go for blood work. In simple words, our blood works as both, waste removal system and a means to pump up oxygen in our body. Our organs in the body like kidney, liver, lungs, heart, etc. work as our processing parts. On a lab report, normal values usually indicate the function of healthy organ and that such systems are doing well.
Even though the kidney test values which are off range don’t always mean that the person has imminent disease. Testing a large number of healthy people show up a normal range of each test. But there are certain factors which may affect those ranges for each person, including age, weight, gender, medicines, medical history, and lifestyle factors. So, it’s your doctor who can tell what is normal in your body.
Usually a blood sample is collected for routine checkup with three different tests – a complete metabolic range, blood count, and lipid profile or panel. These types of tests can show up a lot of specific outcomes. Rather than grouping results in three tests, a lot of reports just show up a column of results in Test Name section. To gain better insight of your lab report, it is always wise to know the inter-connection of test results. Here are some of the common terms used in blood tests and some of the common results under each section.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
The list of items in “Test Name” column features the results of Complete Blood Count or CBC. It is focused on the health of three different types of blood cells, including white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets, by determining their size, amounts, and volume and other things. It is a wide tool for screening which is helpful for doctors to identify allergies and infections, or to diagnose possible conditions and diseases like leukemia and anemia. Here are some of the items measured in CBC –
Red Blood Cells (RBCs)
These types of blood cells are often listed next on the report. Red Blood Cells pump oxygen to our body tissues. If reports show high Red Blood Cell counts, it means you have heart disease, kidney problem, or dehydration. Low RBC is the symptom of lack of nutrition, anemia, damage of bone marrow or kidney disease. And smoking is the main cause behind damage of RBCs. So, it’s time for smokers to grab nicotine gums, e-cigarettes, and other alternatives.
White Blood Cells (WBC)
It is probably the first test which shows the number of White Blood Cells, also known as leukocytes. These blood cells play a vital role in our immune system. When you have allergic reaction or any kind of infection, our body naturally releases more White Blood Cells than normal. There are five different types of WBCs. But these are listed at the common of results in many blood test lab reports.
Hematocrit, Hemoglobin, Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH), Mean Corpuscular Value (MCV)
These blood group test results are usually featured under RBC as they further test overall functioning of red blood cells and health status. Red Blood Cells contain a protein “Hemoglobin” which transfers oxygen to the body. It is measured in the body to figure out if tissues and organs are getting enough of oxygen.
On the other side, Hematocrit results have the volume of blood from red blood cells to figure out if RBC count is too low or too high. Blood cells are also known as corpuscles to measure the average RBC size with mean corpuscular value. If RBC is of unusual size, it shows the symptom of anemia or lack of vitamin B12.
The average amount of hemoglobin in RBC is measured in mean corpuscular hemoglobin. It is also evaluated on the basis of MCHC (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration) to measure average hemoglobin percentage in RBCs.
Mean Platelet Value (MPV) and Platelets
Next in the list are these two tests. Platelets are blood cell fragments. They are important to heal injuries and wounds and form blood clots to avoid excessive bleeding. When platelet count goes below the level of 150,000 platelets per mcL (microliter), it causes excessive bleeding. If platelet count goes above 400,000 platelets per microliter, there is a risk of blood clots. Hence, platelet value measures the average platelets and can show up subtle problems when there are normal platelet counts.
Eosinophils, Basophils, Lymphocytes, Neutrophils, and Monocytes
These are actually the types of white blood cells and their results usually appear under the list of RBC results. The health and amount of such kinds of cells are ideal to know the allergies and infections. For instance, neutrophils work like EMT in your blood and they are a kind of immune cells which are some of the first at the infected area. Basophils are a kind of immune system which have small enzymes and particles released during asthma and allergic reactions.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
When it comes to metabolism, we think of lots of dietary books and number on the scale. But this type of test clarifies something more than the metabolism and chemical balance of the body. Metabolism covers all the chemical and physical processes of the body which use or convert energy (for ex, controlling temperature of body, breathing etc.). CMP also details the information about electrolytes of the body, minerals in the blood which influence water in the body, muscle function, and acidity level in the blood. For CMP, some of the electrolytes tested are chloride, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.
Along with it, the CMP also measures the chemicals and substances, including albumin, bilirubin, and creatinine. Hemoglobin breakdown often causes bilirubin. It is commonly found in blood and bile and most of it could be the sign of jaundice. The common protein which is found in blood plasma, Albumin is a yellowish, clear fluid of the body which consists of blood cells. Low levels of albumin are the sign of inflammation, malnutrition, kidney and liver problems.
Finally, creatinine is a chemical waste produced by creatine, which carries energy and transfers it to muscles. It can help crush weight lifting. Creatine is a common supplement but creatinine is filtered off the body through kidneys. Kidneys may work worse if creatinine levels are elevated.
Do you feel starving all the time?
The fasting glucose test is another most common type of CMP test. You cannot eat for up to 8 hours before this test. Glucose is the major source of energy in your body. It is simply the sugar produced by the body from carbohydrates. Even a pancake can affect the results. If you want to skip hunger rage in the afternoons, which is natural, it is best to schedule your blood sugar test in the morning. Unusual glucose levels can be the symptom of diabetes.
It’s not about fat talk, but rather about your fat (lipid) in the body. All body fats are not bad, just like fat on your food. Lipids can be used for energy after breaking down. Lipid panel covers the tests to determine two types of fat found in your blood – triglycerides and cholesterol.
Triglycerides are actually an important part of fat made in your liver. If you don’t know what is affecting triglyceride in your body, simply remove the dietary hazards off your routine – fat, sugar, and alcohol. But levels of triglyceride can be high due to liver problem, thyroid, and genetic issues. High triglyceride levels indicate higher risk of blood vessel and heart diseases.
HDL and LDL are two different types of cholesterol. HDL or High Density Lipoprotein takes additional cholesterol to the liver from blood to remove it. Hence, it is known to be healthy or good cholesterol. High amount of HDL cholesterol is important and it can reduce the risk of heart disease.
On the other side, Low Density Lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol is fat moves cholesterol to body parts for cellular repair. But it also leaves fat deposits in the artery walls. Hence, it is also known as bad cholesterol. Increased LDL cholesterol is bad for your health as it elevates the risk of blood vessel and heart disease, such as coronary artery disease. It is important to maintain the ideal balance between LDL and HDL cholesterol levels and healthy level of triglycerides to support your heart.
How to avoid confusions in blood test work?
If you are still confused with your blood work, don’t worry! We have the best solution to interpret your blood test. LAB.ME is the best solution which scans your lab report. It works on machine intelligence technology which detects numbers and letters on your lab result. Then, it will do the magic.
It will analyze, encrypt, and graph your results quickly and can indicate if you are at health risk. Also it adds great flexibility and removes complexity. It enables third party apps to access and integrate with machine code seamlessly and quickly.
How Does LAB ME Work?
LAB.ME is a mobile app which provides health tips and recommendations according to your lab test results. It analyses you report and gives simple and layman-friendly information about your tests just like a doctor and also teaches you about optimal ranges and what you can do to get into the right range.
We are revolutionizing the way we look at blood test results with deep analysis using artificial intelligence, deep learning, and detailed information of lab tests.
We are known to be the best digital blood analysis tool on the market which gives science-based, accurate information about your personal results. Standard lab test work is based on common ranges which will tell you whether you are sick or not. This app has been designed after hours of analysis and research to know the right ranges for individual health.
How to Interpret Blood Test Results Quickly?
Even if you are an athlete or a CrossFit champion, you definitely should be doing regular checkups. The huge lists of typical medical terms that often mislead us on blood test results don’t make sense at all. These are all are the part of almost all routine checkups. At the end, you just Google these terms like bilirubin, basophils and what not.
Along with this clutter of terms, design of iron blood test result is completely dull. Leave wonderful makeovers alone, we can’t even decode administrative-looking and technical documents.
Don’t worry, there is a solution to help you learn about your bun blood test outcomes. Lab ME app has more than just a complete collection of all these technical terms. In addition, it gives basic information better sense of information from a typical report in a comprehensive and organized manner to interpret it with peace of mind.
This app can help interpret the allergy blood test report for you to have better knowledge of what those terms mean to you. It is very vital to know blood test results so one can explain the decisions of you or your doctors to take precautionary measures. Here’s how you can interpret your blood test results and get it explained.
First of all, keep in mind that Lab.me is a non-commercial portal (no ads and no needs to purchase license etc.). Secondly, we take your data very seriously. With military grade encryption we keep your data completely anonymous. We do not store your personal details on our system with your blood work. So, if subpoenaed, we have nothing to give them.
We strongly recommend you to consult with your doctor also. Your doctor specializes in this field who can better interpret your blood test results. They may find something noticeable in your report that you either didn’t know was important or simply ignored. No matter whatever the case is, this source is great. You should talk to your physician with more understanding and background details when you have the discussions. You may also have some better questions to discuss with your doctor.
It is very vital to understand blood test results and interpret them. Lab Me has accurate information to help you determine blood test reports that you get from the lab. Download the app now for complete blood test analysis.